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'Fake' SA public servant fails to face court

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Prosecutors have questioned the authenticity of a medical certificate used to excuse a court appearance this morning for a former South Australian public servant who allegedly relied on fake credentials to secure a senior government job.

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The case against Veronica Theriault came before Adelaide Magistrates Court today but the 44-year-old did not attend, with her lawyer providing a medical certificate to excuse her absence.

However, a prosecutor said there were concerns about whether the document was authentic, given the nature of the allegations against her.

Ryan Williams said some inquiries had already been undertaken and others were continuing.

Defence counsel Nic Kernahan said he believed the document to be “suitable” to explain his client’s non-appearance.

No details of her medical condition were revealed.

Theriault, from Perth, was arrested in September last year after an investigation by Independent Commissioner Against Corruption Bruce Lander.

She was charged with two counts of deception to obtain a benefit and three of dishonestly dealing with documents.

Theriault had been hired last year as the chief information officer in the South Australian Department of Premier and Cabinet – a position advertised with an annual salary of up to $244,000.

A co-accused, Alan Corkill, was allegedly hired by Theriault as a contractor and was charged with one count of deception to obtain a benefit and one of seeking to accept or agreeing to a benefit.

He also failed to appear in court on Thursday but prosecutors took no issue with his absence.

Corkill’s lawyer said he would plead guilty to the deception charge.

Kernahan told the court that Theriault would admit to some of the allegations against her, but did not specify which.

The case has been adjourned until August 9.

– AAP

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